I don’t know about you, but right now, so many people I’m encountering are stressed and exhausted.  There’s a lot going on and many things are feeling scary – both in the big picture and closer to home.  And all this comes on the back of 2 years in a pandemic.

So it’s not surprising, but it is something we have to be aware of – how to work with our capacity.  In honesty, I’m pretty good at this now.  Chronic health issues have taught me how to tune in to how I feel on any day and work with that, to kinder to myself and have flexible expectations, and to be diligent with the self care maintenance whatever’s going on (in fact, to ramp it up as the pressure increases).

Because when we feel wrung out, we don’t always spot it, and instead move into a place of even more (self induced) stress.  A place where:

  • Everything feels urgent, ramping up the pressure even more

  • We lose sight of what’s important and get overwhelmed by the EVERYTHING

  • We lose the ability to rationalise and prioritise (headless chicken, anyone?)

  • We don’t have time for the exercise, the nutrition, the sleep and the down time (oh, oh)

  • That inner panicked voice starts screaming – come on, do more, go faster, be better (rocketing the stress)

And so this week, I’ve been reassuring clients that:

  • What they have right now is good. There’s no major problems, things are ticking over nicely, what we’re working on are all wonderful enhancements, but they’re not immediately crucial and we can make them happen at a pace that works.

  • It’s ok to take a breather. It’s summer, kids are off school, there’s space to carve out some me/us/family time.  Plan carefully and build it in (not just kid stuff that’s as hard as a day at work!).  And chances are you’ll return refreshed, inspired and effective.

  • You’re running beyond capacity and that’s not sustainable. We’ve been looking for achievable ways to discard, delegate and outsource (especially from those Zones of Incompetence and Competence).

  • Logic is our friend.  We’ve looked at priorities, broken them into achievable tasks and created more effective working patterns (with contingency built in for the unexpected so we don’t stumble at the first hurdle).

  • There’s truth in “more haste, less speed”. I get that there are deadlines, pressures and unavoidable STUFF.  And being told to chill out can be bloody annoying!  But honestly, we never work well in the overwhelm spiral.  So pausing and evaluating what’s important, how to do it effectively and how to stay strong is the biggest timesaver out there.

  • Self care is your superpower.  Yes, back on my soapbox again but honestly, this is when you really need it.  It recharges the battery, and disperses the cortisol and adrenaline that’s coursing round your body.  They might give you a short term boost, but soon leave you like a shaky, empty shell (usually with insomnia).  And most importantly, it brings the nervous system back into regulation so your body and unconscious mind realise they aren’t in imminent danger – and can stop behaving like you are.

And then you can get back to listening to your rational brain and your calm body to create aligned and embodied actions – that will get you to where you want to be.

Mmm..Sounds good.

What works for you when the pressure’s really on?.

P.S. check out my self care tips if you’re struggling.